Breaking — Tsunami warning after 7.6-quake hits southern Indonesia

A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.5 has struck the Flores Sea in southern Indonesia, prompting tsunami alerts for nearby coastlines, seismologists and residents say. Only few details are currently available.

The earthquake, which struck at 11:20 a.m. local time on Tuesday, was centered in the Flores Sea, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Maumere, one of the largest towns on Flores Island, which is west of Timor-Leste (East Timor).

Indonesia’s seismological agency BMKG put the preliminary magnitude for Tuesday’s earthquake at 7.5 with a depth of just 12 kilometers (7.4 miles). The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude at 7.3, down from an earlier reading of 7.6, at a depth of 18 kilometers (11 miles).

A tsunami warning which was immediately issued for nearby coastlines was later downgraded to an advisory. People in the area should be told to move away from the beach but no evacuations are required, BMKG said. There’s no threat of a Pacific-wide tsunami.

“Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 1000 km of the earthquake epicenter,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin to member states, adding that the situation was still being investigated.

BMKG’s earthquake and tsunami mitigation coordinator, Daryono, said no tsunami had been detected as of 11:55 a.m.